Manchester United is getting closer to signing Frenkie de Jong this summer. The club has spent more than 60 days pursuing the Barcelona star, hoping he may transfer to Old Trafford. And, if a move is made, it will almost definitely be a statement of purpose.
Manchester United has been connected with Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans as they attempt to bolster their roster.
But they aren’t giving up on De Jong, who has long been Erik ten Hag’s top target.
United and Barcelona have agreed on an initial cost, with the club hoping to sign the Netherlands international for £63 million.
Though there are still some difficulties to overcome, there is growing optimism at Old Trafford that John Murtough and Richard Arnold’s recent trip to Barcelona was not in vain.
So Express Sport will now look at four welcoming gifts that De Jong will receive if and when he actually makes the transfer.
1. A critical role
When Barcelona signed De Jong in the 2019 summer transfer window, he was anticipated to be at the center of everything that happened on the field.
But, three years later, nothing has changed.
De Jong has had his moments, but under Xavi, Ronald Koeman, Quique Setien, and Ernesto Valverde, he has struggled for consistency.
Barcelona has traditionally developed around Sergio Busquets rather than his younger teammate, while Pedri and Gavi have high prospects as academy graduates.
In summary, De Jong has never been the focal point of the team. But he’ll be a talisman for United under old boss Ten Hag.
2. A big salary
A high salary is a second welcome gift United can give De Jong.
Though there is no indication on how much he will be paid, it was reported in May that they were willing to pay the midfielder a whopping £395,000 per week.
That would be a raise over his current salary at Barcelona, which is £354,000 per week.
It would put him above David De Gea, Jadon Sancho, and Raphael Varane on the pay scale.
And if De Jong is hesitant to leave Barcelona, money could be the key to closing this deal.
3. a co-conspirator
United has won the race to sign Christian Eriksen, who will join on a free transfer.
Given their enormous talents, both De Jong and the Denmark international might become regulars in the middle of the park.
Eriksen has the potential to be the summer’s best signing, given United’s lack of a transfer price.
His form at Tottenham demonstrates that he is one of the top playmakers in the world on his day.
And Eriksen, who came back from a cardiac arrest at the European Championships last summer, could be an intriguing player for De Jong to play alongside.
4. Goals to strive for
De Jong hasn’t had to compete with world-class attacking players at Barcelona. Aside from Lionel Messi, of course.
Antoine Griezmann never settled in Catalonia, and by the time the Netherlands international arrived, Luis Suarez was past his prime.
However, De Jong will have young, fast players to supply ammunition for at United, which may help his statistics rise.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Anthony Martial can all prosper if given the proper attention.
And De Jong might even help Cristiano Ronaldo stay fresh as the 37-year-old nears the end of his career.